Praescient attended our strategic partner Institute for the Study of War’s Inaugural Security Conference, held on September 14, 2016, in Washington, DC. The conference, entitled “Rethinking US Grand Strategy,” featured senior US military officials and national security policymakers who offered their perspectives on the future of the military’s strategic outlook.
During the course of the day’s panels, ISW demonstrated the value of the unique service it provides to the national security community. As a small, independent think tank unburdened by traditional bureaucracy, political or electoral constraints, ISW is able to frame long term national security challenges clearly and cogently. ISW derives much of its analytical clarity from the way it ingests and models its growing institutional knowledge base of open source data. As ISW’s strategic partner, Praescient analyst consultants have been instrumental in designing the ISW data taxonomy and deploying it effectively for the past 5 years. By putting this institutional knowledge base at the fingertips of ISW leadership, Praescient has enabled them to make more informed, data-driven assessments.
A second key point from the Security Conference, emphasized by USSOCOM Commander General Ray Thomas, was the central challenge of “how do you get that information back into the hands of the warfighter.” Whereas only a few short years ago the warfighter was forced to rely primarily on information and directives sent from headquarters, increasingly the information that used to be only at headquarters is being pushed directly to the warfighter using advanced consoles and heads-up displays. This data-driven decision-making at the lowest level can allow the US military to become more adaptive, more efficient, and more agile.
General Thomas’s remarks are hugely relevant for Praescient’s brand of data analysis, as well. By arming front line analysts with cutting edge technologies, organizations can use data more effectively to solve problems that used to require an entire team of traditional researchers. Whether it’s designing database taxonomies, providing training and embedded analysis, or offering outsourced Analysis-as-a-Service (AaaS) Praescient has internalized General Thomas’s perspective as a core part of our approach.